My Third World Plan for Coronavirus


Lowes, February 28th, 2020

Having seen this movie before as an expatriate living in the third or developing world, I have a sense of what to expect in the second worst case scenario of the coronavirus.

In the first worst case, I would be dead before it came to town.

Abroad we planned for things that might happen, so I'll start from those skills.

  • The power might go out as it did everywhere we lived in the developing world. In Mexico it happened (yet again) as we were about to sit down for dinner party at our home, with 50 guests.
  • The water might stop running as it did in Mexico and Ecuador, making the pool water of the latter quite useful.
  • Deliveries might disappear from groceries and other shops leaving them with empty shelves, a reality that often happened on the sunny island of Curaçao. It's an experience to watch fresh broccoli rot on the grocer shelf to an unappetizing brown. But I learned to buy ahead non-perishable items.
  • So like then, I will stock up on things we use anyway, just more than I'd usually keep about.

Cans and jars of foods, dry goods like pasta and rice, a container to store drinking water (if needed), long shelf-life items like UHT (ultra high temperature) almond milk, wine and dark chocolate. Prescription medications that our stingy insurance allow us to order more than one unit at a time. And things without expiry dates like tissues, toilet paper, soaps for everything from our dishes to clothes, hair and body washes.

But what I most assuredly will not stock on, is panic. Panic is not helpful for my primary immune deficiency that needs weekly infusions to be normal like other people's. That isn't a medical statement, just a life lived in challenging countries statement.

So I'll stock up on reliable, science-based information. Not the voodoo of social media and poorly sourced internet junk, or the magical thinking of a friend who is hanging onions about the house to keep coronavirus away.

But don't listen to me. Go to the CDC coronavirus website to read and learn. Read a book, like John M. Barry's The Great Influenza. Take a FREE beginner course online like my 9-year-old British grandson at Coursera. (Full disclosure, a relative works at Coursera.)

Knowledge is power and also assuages fear.

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    Candace Drimmer

    TIMELINE June 1972 to June 1973---Candace moves to Lima (Peru)----- June 1973 to May 1974---Candace and The Husband live in Glendale AZ----- May 1974 to August 1974---Living in Toronto, Ontario (Canada)----- September 1974 to May 1975---Living in Aberdeen SD----- May 1975 to July 1979---Living in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)----- July 1979 to June 1980---Living in Asuncion (Paraguay)----- June 1980 to September 1980---Living in NYC----- September 1980 to November 1982---Living in Connecticut----- November 1982 to January 1983---Living in Ponce, Puerto Rico (USA)----- February 1983 to July 1986---Living in Willemstad, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles)----- July 1986 to July 1989---Living in Guayaquil (Ecuador)----- July 1989 to July 1995---Living in Connecticut (yes, again)----- July 1995 to August 2001---Living in Mexico City (Mexico)----- August 2001---Return to Gringolandia (a.k.a. United States of America)----- I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew I met a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, fell in love and moved to Peru in the 1970s. WHAT an adventure it's been!! NOTE: I gave up Facebook, so apologies that I cannot answer any comments since it is only set up via FB.

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